Will Miss Saigon Pull Out After 10 Years?Date: 24 June 1999
The hit Cameron Mackintosh musical Miss Saigon, which celebrates its 10th anniversary at the West End's Theatre Royal Drury Lane this autumn, is due to close within the next year, according to today's Stage newspaper.
The newspaper reports that theatre impresario Mackintosh is planning to close the show on or around the anniversary on 20 September 1999. Alternatively, he may keep it on the stage until spring 2000 when he wants to replace it with a new project, the musical stage adaptation of John Updike's novel, The Witches of Eastwick. Made into a Hollywood film in 1987 starring Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Cher, the story is currently being adapted for the stage by Dana P Rowe and John Dempsey.
This morning, a spokesperson for Miss Saigon, was unable to confirm or deny to Whatsonstage.com whether the show closure was set and would only acknowledge The Witches of Eastwick arrival as a rumour.
Nevertheless, it looks as though Miss Saigon will be the next victim to the so-called Lion King effect which is seeing an ousting of long-running musicals in favour of new productions. Doctor Dolittle, Grease and Beauty and the Beast have already announced closures. The slew of new musicals queued up to enter the West End now include Oh What a Night, Great Balls of Fire, Fosse, Forbidden Broadway, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and The Pajama Game, which have already confirmed opening dates and venues, and Martin Guerre, The King and I, Spend Spend Spend and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, which are as yet unconfirmed.
Written by Les Miserables composers Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, Miss Saigon transplants the Madam Butterfly story to war-torn Vietnam. Cultures and aspirations clash when a local prostitute meets her GI Joe during the fall of Saigon in 1975. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the cast currently features Joanna Ampil, Leo Valdez, Scott Anson and Richard Lloyd King. The show is currently booking to 29 January 2000.